I guess it’s time for my monthly update…

I guess it’s time for my monthly update…

Well, I see that it’s almost the end of March, which means it’s been about a month since I last updated. Again. *SIGH*

Let’s see… since my last update I have officially accepted the offer from Texas A&M, as well as been awarded a fellowship that increased the stipend I was already going to receive for my assistantship, so that’s cool. My parents are planning on visiting sometime in May so that we can look for a place for me to live in College Station (we’re hoping to buy a condo, or possibly a small house but probably a condo), and I will be leaving my job at CTSA the first week of July. Then I will hopefully visit my parents in England before coming back to Texas to pack up all my stuff and move to CS by early August – and then the semester begins at the end of the month!

I’m very excited – already combing through the course catalog and thinking about classes to take and whatnot. I’m actually going to be in College Station next weekend for AggieCon, where I will probably see at least some of my future classmates and professors. Of course it’s not like I’ll get anything done that’s school-related, but it’s still a visit to CS so that’s cool.

Meanwhile, at work we’re gearing up for Holy Week, which as you might imagine is a busy time for a Catholic television station. It looks like I’m actually going to be working on Easter Sunday, which is kind of a bummer, but on the plus side I usually go to the Vigil Mass on Saturday anyway, so it’s not like I’d be missing out on my usual Mass. Plus at least I’d be getting holiday pay. Upside!

I’m still thinking about vlogging – my main obstacle right now is thinking about what to use to film it. I have a point and shoot Canon that I could use – it takes video, after all, although not super awesome video. I could also use my webcam or clear all the music and photos off of my iPhone every time I wanted to film something and use that. But that would be a hassle so I’m thinking the phone is a no. Also I need to jury-rig a tripod to use if don’t use my webcam – which I don’t really want to use because it’s by far the worst quality of all the possible cameras I could put to use. *sigh* But I’ve done a bit more brainstorming about the possible content of my hypothetical vlog, and I do really like the idea of trying to put something together, so… we’ll see. Maybe if I can get into the habit of blogging regularly then I can more seriously think about vlogging. Hmm.

In other news, on the advice of a couple different people who I talked to at the A&M recruitment weekend, I picked up the book Textual Poachers by Henry Jenkins the other day and read it. It was originally published over twenty years ago and is basically from the first wave of serious academic study of fandom in the way that I want to study fandom. I really, really enjoyed reading it. I did all kinds of underlining and scribbling in the margins. I even instagrammed a passage and my accompanying margin note at one point. I’m probably going to pick up at least a couple of his other books between now and August, and maybe some of the ~related titles~ that Amazon suggests as well. I feel like I should go into this whole grad school thing with at least a little pre-reading done, you know? Get a headstart on my research, if you will. Plus, it might help me narrow my scope in terms of what I want to research so that I can settle faster on a topic for my thesis (provided I decide to do the thesis option for my MA, which I probably will, although in theory I could just do the exams, but we’ll see).

On the subject of television, Hannibal has returned to our screens with a vengeance and is just as good as it was last season, if not better. Every week I find myself wishing I could shower everyone involved with Emmys and Golden Globes and any other award it is possible for a television show to win, particularly Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, the cinematographer, and the production designers/art directors. But really, the whole thing is just flawlessly put together and the overall effect is basically perfection. It will be a crime if NBC doesn’t choose to renew the show for a third season. Not to mention rude, and we know what happens to rude people in the Hannibal universe…

I’m also thoroughly enjoying Arrow these days, but side-eyeing the fandom something fierce. After spending the pre-hiatus first third of the season as well as the first few episodes back from hiatus throwing a lot of Oliver/Felicity at the audience (doing quite a lot to very firmly establish Felicity’s importance to Oliver and her place in his life), the writers dared to shift some of the focus to – *GASP* – another female character. One who not only has a romantic history with Oliver but who has rekindled their romance. This increased focus on Sara Lance – and her sister, Laurel – and the resultant lessening of screentime for Felicity inspired a disappointing and kind of gross response from a segment of Oliver/Felicity fans. They took to Twitter and Tumblr en masse, demanding that Felicity get back the screentime that had been “stolen” from her by the Lance sisters, who these fans often referred to as “boring” or “stupid” or using frankly misogynistic and gross terms I won’t repeat here (largely because they pissed me off intensely). They said they were only watching for Oliver/Felicity or for Felicity herself, and without her and/or their ship, they would stop watching. (To which I say, excuse me darling, the show is called Arrow, not Felicity Smoak and Her Superhero Friends, so I’m not sure what you thought you were getting into.) But what really surprises me is that after watching half a season in which they had been explicitly told just how important the character of Felicity was to both the show and to Oliver Queen, it was as if one scene of Oliver kissing another woman was enough to wipe their memories, or convince them that what they had spent half a season watching meant nothing. Why they jumped to that conclusion is beyond me, as it has always been clear to me that the writers of Arrow are playing a long game where the Oliver/Felicity ship is concerned and a much shorter game where Oliver and anyone else are concerned. But it’s the misogynism inherent in the way these angry fans talk about Sara Lance that really upsets and angers me. If we as fans want to be in a place where we can legitimately come to Hollywood power players and say “hey, we’d really like more prominent female characters in our entertainment media,” then we’ve got to stop acting like this when they, you know, give us that. Because otherwise they’re going to point to situations like this and it will be perfectly understandable when they say “No! No you don’t!”
I mean, I ship Oliver/Felicity like nobody’s business, but that doesn’t mean I’m not able to push the shipper goggles off my face and see what the writers are doing with Oliver/Sara and Sara’s presence on Team Arrow. I actually really love the character of Sara Lance, to be honest. I think she brings a lot to the table and it’s been really fun to see her get to know Diggle and Felicity and begin to get comfortable with them/interact with them. I think Sara is almost as attached to Felicity as Oliver is (or at least as he’s admitted he is), to be quite honest, and isn’t that interesting? Anyway, at this point I mostly find myself having to step back and stop looking at the hashtag on Twitter or the tracked tags on Tumblr, because I just end up getting really pissed off by what I see. Hopefully, whatever happens in the last few episodes of the season will both be awesome and contain enough Felicity to keep the jerks in fandom from getting unbearable.

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